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Report: MK Dons Women 1-1 Reading Women (1-3 penalties)

MK Dons women suffer penalty shootout heartbreak in Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Final...

17 March 2024

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons Women 1-1 Reading Women (1-3 penalties)

MK Dons women suffer penalty shootout heartbreak in Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Final...

17 March 2024

MK Dons women cruelly lost on penalties in the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Final after Tricia Gould's screamer was cancelled out by Tia Johnson with five minutes left to play.

The Dons were the better team for much of the match and will be disappointed not to be bringing the cup back to Milton Keynes.

Charlie Bill made three changes to the team that lost to Rugby Borough on Tuesday with Amy McLean, Laura Mitchell and Ade Fatuga-Dada dropping out for Milly Hayes, Trica Gould and Lucy Wood.


MK Dons had the opening chance of the game, Lucy Wood capitalised on a defensive mistake to pick the ball up in Reading’s area and get a shot away, but it curled just over the top right-hand corner of the goal.

Reading looked to build an attack themselves a few minutes later, but Nicola Puddick was alert to the break and did well to smother the opportunity.

The Dons won a corner early on thanks to some great attacking intent from Lucy Wood, but Milly Hayes’ ball into the box was well cleared.

Hayes was involved again moments later after picking up the ball from a Reading corner, the midfielder flew up the pitch for the Dons, but couldn’t combine with Emily Wilson to fashion a clear shot at goal.

Rhianne Rush then put a lovely cross into the box for Lucy Wood to attack, but the forward couldn’t quite get under the ball and sent her header over the bar.

Rush was the Dons' most creative outlet as the half progressed, getting a shot away from around 25 yards but being brought down in the process to win a free-kick. Milly Hayes struck the resulting set-piece low and hard but dragged it just wide to the keeper's right.

Emily Wilson showed some fantastic intent to run at the Reading defence towards the end of the half, her hard work led to a shooting opportunity for Rhianne Rush, who curled one over the bar from the edge of the area.

Not long afterwards Reading had a chance to score, Stevie Kennedy curled a shot past Chloe Sansom from close range after a defensive error, but Sofia Stovold was alert to the danger and cleared the ball off the line.

The Dons ended the half the stronger of the two teams, Milly Hayes fired off a brilliant shot from the edge of the area to keep Eve Annets on her toes, but the Reading keeper was able to palm the ball away.


Charlie Bill made one change at half-time, with Ade Fatuga-Dada coming on for Lucy Wood.

MK Dons had the opening chance of the second half after Reading failed to deal with a corner, Tricia Gould found herself with time in the box to get a header away, but couldn’t generate enough power to get the black past Eve Annets.

Moments later Gould had an even better chance to score, this time getting the best of her marker on the edge of the area, before sending a low shot just wide of the right-hand side of the goal.

Emily Wilson thought she’d opened the score after 53 minutes, the Dons’ number 30 did brilliantly well to squeeze a shot past Annets from close range but watched on as it agonisingly clipped the post.

Reading had a great chance to score after an hour played, Meadows Tuson fired a shot in following a corner but Nicola Puddick did fantastically well to clear the ball off the line and keep the scores level. 

Reading had the best chance of the game with 25 minutes left to play, Rebecca Tinnelly sent a lopping header goalwards but Chloe Sansom was able to watch it float just wide.

Charlie Bill then made two further changes, with Megan Attenborough and Laura Mitchell coming on for Milly Hayes and Emily Wilson.

Moments later MK Dons took the lead! Tricia Gould found herself with time on the edge of the box after a period of good pressure for the Dons. She took a touch out of her feet before curling a sumptuous effort into the top right-hand corner. 1-0.

Rhianne Rush had a brilliant chance to double the Dons’ lead not long afterwards, the ball fell to the midfielder on the edge of the box following a corner, she took a touch before firing a half-volley towards the top right corner which Annets did well to save.

Zoe Creaney had an opportunity to score with around 15 minutes left to play, the centre-back did well to get a shot away after a challenge in the Reading area but Eve Annets claimed it comfortably.

With five minutes left to play Reading equalised, Tia Johnson was quickest to react to a loose ball in the MK Dons area and turned home from close range. 1-1.

Deep into stoppage time, Rhianne Rush thought she’d won it for the Dons, a ball bounced up to the midfielder in the Reading area and she lashed it towards goal only for it to skew marginally wide.

After five minutes of stoppage time referee Gifford Manyange blew his whistle and the game went to penalties.


Reading missed their first penalty, with Cooper crashing her effort into the bar. (0-0) 

Laura Mitchell failed to capitalise on the miss, Evie Annet got down well to stop her well-struck spot-kick. (0-0)

Tia Johnson scored Reading’s second penalty with a calm finish down the middle. (1-0)

Nicola Puddick levelled things for the Dons with a driven effort. (1-1)

Rebecca Tinelly hammered Reading’s next effort into the roof of the net. (2-1)

Sofia Stovold couldn’t keep it level though and had her penalty well saved. (2-1)

Imogen Poile scored her penalty for Reading with a powerful finish into the left-hand- side of the goal. (3-1)

Tricia Gould had to score to keep the Dons alive but sent her penalty just wide. (3-1)

The shootout win saw Reading claim the Berks and Bucks Women's Senior Cup.


MK Dons: Sansom, Warren, Puddick, Biggadike, Stovold, Rush, Wood (Fatuga-Dada 45), Gould, Creaney, Wilson (Mitchell 64), Hayes (Attenborough 64)

Subs: McLean, Samuels 

Goals: Gould 67

Reading: Annets, Cooper, Cox (Lacey 90), Wozniak (Polie 32), Meadows-Tuson, Hunt (Aspinall 74), Elwood (Johnson 74), Rasmussen © (Powey), Manners, Kennedy, Tinnelly

Goals: Johnson 85

Referee: Gifford Manyange

Stadium: Holloways Park

Attendance: 220

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